There's a brand-new Marvel movie on the way, and it's not the one you're thinking of. On February 8, Marvel dropped the first teaser trailer for Venom, and the responses are mixed, to say the least. Most Marvel trailers get their audiences hyped beyond belief, with clips of Black Panther and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War stirring excitement at every turn. In short, here's why fans are upset about the Venom trailer: There isn't enough Venom in it. As a result, the 90-second teaser for Venom feels especially tease-y.
This is the first full-length film based on Venom from The Amazing Spider-Man comics. A super-villain-meets-antihero of sorts, Venom itself is a symbiote, a sentient, gooey alien life form that requires a human host to operate fully. In this film, Venom will find Tom Hardy, who plays photographer Eddie Brock. Most of this is left out of the trailer, which instead shows Tom Hardy brooding in bodegas and flipping out in an MRI machine. (There's a hint of the symbiote undulating in a tank, but that's about it.) As Polygon points out, there isn't even a Venom jump-scare before the ending; the most action fans see is black ooze briefly creeping up Hardy's neck. Could it be that Marvel is making a Spider-Man film without any spidey suits?
In 2007's Spider-Man 3, Eddie Brock/Venom was portrayed by Topher Grace. The Spider-Man film franchise has been rebooted twice since then, soVenom will take place in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, which newly stars Tom Holland as Spider-Man. (As of now, his role in the film is a rumor.) Here's what fans don't know about Venom, the movie: Most things. And the teaser trailer is not helping. What is it about? How much Venom is in it? How much is it inspired by, and how much does it depart from, the original source material? The Venom character first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man comic series in the late 1980s, and received its own Planet of The Symbiotes series in the mid-1990s. This Venom film is reportedly based on that series, though there's little evidence in the teaser to support that.
As far as Spider-Man villains go, Venom is somewhat niche. It's a bold decision by Sony and Marvel to release the first real glimpse of a Venom film without the titular character. Eventually, Hardy's character will be taken over by the symbiote, so why hide it? Wouldn't a hulking dude like Hardy, wrapped in a skintight, black, fanged, and potentially evil super-suit be more of a hook than just Eddie Brock, Scared In A Hospital? Many of the franchise's fans seem to think so. More patient fans, though, are wise to point out that teaser is in the name, and a full-length trailer might give away a little more.
Promoting Venom without Venom, even in a teaser, feels like a risk. Casting Tom Hardy in the role of a complex sometimes-villain that goes up against Spider-Man is a good idea, though. He's a talented actor, and a household name; Hardy's starring role will get audiences to the theater regardless of their familiarity with Venom. Fans of the film series will recall Grace's surprisingly great turn as a jealous, bitter Brock easily susceptible to Venom's power in the 2007 film.
With this tease of a teaser trailer, it's evident that Sony and Marvel are hopeful that fan excitement will be enough to sustain people before the full-length trailer arrives. That, or they think that Venom is too unknown, and are adjusting their marketing to look like "It's just a dark Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams movie!" is the way to go. Only a full-length Venom trailer, whenever it arrives, can answer that question for sure.